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Trying to get a DBS for carers

April
April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
I've discovered how hard it is to get a DBS check (police check) for carers. Particularly an enhanced DBS that you need for carers who look after very vulnerable people. Some councils don't provide this service at all. My council doesn't do them, and there are thousands of families using carers in my borough.
So what are these families supposed to do?
I imagine that carers are going unchecked.

I think it should be compulsory for Councils to provide this service.
Do you agree?

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,415 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    I don't know if things have changed but when I used to get dbs checks they were not done through councils but the disclosure and barring service Scotland and the application could be done online 
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    janer1967 said:
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    I don't know if things have changed but when I used to get dbs checks they were not done through councils but the disclosure and barring service Scotland and the application could be done online 
    Thanks for your reply.
    Maybe things are different in Scotland, but in England you can't seem to get a check via an online service provider unless you're a company. If you're a private individual, you're stuck. Councils can provide the service for private individuals, but some seem to be cutting that service now.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,415 Disability Gamechanger
    I was referring to England it's just that the service for dbs was administered in Scotland 

    I did deal with them from a company perspective but know of individuals who have done them for themselves 

    Maybe try and contact cab see if they have more info in meantime will see if there is anything else I can find out 
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 2,338 Pioneering
    edited December 2021
    A basic DBS used to be handled through the Scottish system. I believe it was 2018 when the basic DBS started to be administered through the DBS body in England. 

    A basic DBS you can request for yourself, or an employer can request you get one for yourself or even an employer can pay for one on your behalf. 

    This will only show unspent convictions, any spent convictions will not show on this level of DBS. 

    Standard and enhanced DBS checks can only be done through registered companies, charities and organisations. This can either be done through a umbrella company or through a registered organisation that is registered with the DBS body. 

    A standard DBS will show unspent and spent convictions and an enhanced DBS will show the same plus any other local information the police hold which they deem appropriate to the check been performed for the role the individual has applied for. 

    In your circumstances, if the carer is directly employed through an agency or the council it would be them that would need to perform a DBS check, if you wanted the standard or enhanced completed. 

    If it is a carer that you are sourcing yourself then you would only be entitled to ask for them to apply for a basic DBS. 



    Plus, this charity can help - https://unlock.org.uk/
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,415 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks Mark for clearing that up and providing relevant information 
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 2,338 Pioneering
    @janer1967 no worries at all. 
  • Libby_Scope
    Libby_Scope Posts: 755

    Scope community team

    Hi @April :) 

    Thank you for your comment and for enquiring about a DBS check. @MarkM88 has posted some great resources for you above, which will hopefully provide more information about the DBS check process and what you might need to do to move forward with it. 

    Do you have any further questions about the process? :) 
    Online Community Information Coordinator
    Scope

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  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    Thanks for your reply @MarkM88
    If a carer is employed via Direct Payments then you seem to be saying that the Council is obliged to do the DBS check? But some councils have stopped doing that.
    Also, if you employ a carer privately then you can only get a basic DBS check? That doesn't seem very safe, especially if you are employing a carer for a very vulnerable person and need to get the Enhanced DBS check.



  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 2,338 Pioneering
    Basically, yes. 

    So, an individual person who has a carer or PA through a personal budget or direct payments can’t apply for a DBS check for an individual. 

    It’s expected that a local authority does this, however also an NHS trust or other organisation could do this on your behalf and you would need to investigate this. 

    Even then, you are not entitled to see what’s on the DBS check unless the individual agreed you could see if. The organisation you applied through would only be able to. 

    It is obviously a good idea to have this in place especially as most carers and PAs would be carrying out activities that fall under ‘regulated activity’ and therefore should have a enhanced DBS alongside an adult barred list check also. 

    So, ultimately, if the council won’t help with the DBS you need to find an alternative organisation that would do this for you. 

    Failing that, all you can actually do is ask the individual to apply for and show you a basic DBS however this would only show unspent convictions and not spent convictions. 

    How are you finding the carer? 

    I ask because if you have went through an agency they should be DBS checking them, not you. 
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    @MarkM88
    Wow, this seems so wrong. Thank you for this information. I'm surprised there isn't a campaign to get this changed. Thousands of vulnerable individuals are employing people and they aren't allowed to know if their carers have a relevant criminal past.
    By the way, I generally get carers by advertising privately, so no agencies are involved.
    I definitely think there should be pressure on the government to get this changed. 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 940 Pioneering
    Hi @April

    It is wonderful to hear how much you care about the DBS and ensuring your safety status when working with vulnerable people.

    Would you say you identify as self-employed then?  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities, and assistive technology. Pronouns: She/her.
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    Hi @April

    It is wonderful to hear how much you care about the DBS and ensuring your safety status when working with vulnerable people.

    Would you say you identify as self-employed then?  :)
    @[email protected]_Volunteer
    Hi there,
    No I employ carers for my family members who are disabled and very vulnerable. 
    I am so surprised/shocked that it is so difficult to get police checks for them. It should be made law, in my opinion. Or at the very least, Councils should be obliged by law to carry out Enhanced DBS checks on carers for the vulnerable, if they are asked to do so.
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 2,338 Pioneering
    It’s one of those grey areas regarding DBS checks to be honest. 

    Just because a role is entitled to a DBS check does not mean it has to be carried out. 

    For an individual though, if they engaged in regulated activity and were on the adult barred list they would be commuting a criminal offence. 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 940 Pioneering
    Thanks for clarifying @April. That is really helpful  :)

    Does this link help? It is a Government guide to DBS checks for employers https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dbs-check-requests-guidance-for-employers.

    It talks about how to register as an organisation with DBS for example.

    I hope it does help!  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities, and assistive technology. Pronouns: She/her.
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 2,338 Pioneering
    edited December 2021
    Does this link help? It is a Government guide to DBS checks for employers https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dbs-check-requests-guidance-for-employers.

    You can’t register as an organisation that would be allowed to perform their own DBS checks though as an individual or someone that uses a personal budget or direct payments to hire a carer or PA though. 

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